Pomegranate Blueberry Acai Smoothie Bowl

quick smoothie

Ingredients:

Smoothie Bowl
2 Frozen acai smoothie packs, broken up
1 Banana
1/3 Cup Blueberries
1/3 Cup Raspberries
1/2 Cup Pomegranate Blueberry Sparkling Ice
1/4 Cup Almond Milk
2 1/2 Teaspoon Chia seeds

Topping Suggestions
2 Tablespoons blueberries or raspberries
2 Tablespoons pomegranate seeds
1/2 Banana sliced
2 Tablespoons coconut flakes
2 Tablespoons chia Seeds
1 Tablespoons almond butter, melted
2 Tablespoons granola or dry cereal

Directions:

In a blender, add smoothie ingredients and Pomegranate Blueberry Sparkling Ice; cover and blend on high for 1-2 minutes until consistency is of a thick smoothie. Pour into cereal bowl and top with your favorite combination of toppings. *Try popping this mixture into a popsicle mold to take your acai to-go! Simply fill the bottom of the popsicle mold with the toppings, then pour the smoothie mixture and finish with another layer of toppings

Want To Know What is in Your Favorite Restaurant’s Foods?

Want to know what is in the food you consume when you eat out? Make better choices when you are choosing a restaurant- here are the best and worst chains, and why.

New antibiotics scorecard: number of top restaurant chains restricting use in chicken doubled in 2016
Subway and Wendy’s most improved; KFC, Olive Garden and 14 others get Fs

what is in your food

Since last year, twice as many of the nation’s top fast food chains are responding to the public health crisis of antibiotic resistance by adopting strong policies that prohibit the routine use of antibiotics, or medically-important antibiotics, in the meat and poultry they serve. This is according to the second annual Chain Reaction report and scorecard, released today by a group of consumer, environmental and health organizations, which grades America’s top 25 restaurant chains on their policies and practices regarding antibiotics use and transparency in their meat and poultry supply chains. The nine chains earning passing grades are Panera Bread (PNRA), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Subway, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s (MCD), Wendy’s (WEN), Taco Bell (YUM), Pizza Hut (YUM) and Papa John’s Pizza (PZZA).

Today’s report, Chain Reaction II: How Top Restaurants Rate on Reducing Use of Antibiotics in Their Meat Supply, is being released amidst a public outcry from consumers and shareholders urging chains like KFC, Olive Garden and In N Out Burger to adopt policies prohibiting the routine use of antibiotics in the meat and poultry they serve. The results from Chain Reaction II come one day before a high-profile meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on antimicrobial resistance, a major global health crisis caused by the misuse of antibiotics by the medical community and livestock industry.

Chain Reaction II highlights include:

  • Panera and Chipotle continue to lead the pack with solid “A” grades for implementing comprehensive policies that restrict antibiotics use across their meat and poultry supply.
  • Nine of the surveyed companies — twice as many as last year — received passing grades, largely due to their transition to chicken raised without antibiotics or chicken raised without medically-important antibiotics.
  • The restaurant chains surveyed this year made little progress on beef or pork.
  • Five companies with strong chicken policies received grades ranging from B to C- (Subway, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Taco Bell.)
  • McDonald’s earned an improved grade of “C+” this year, after completing its 2015 commitment to end the use of medically-important antibiotics in its domestic chicken supply — with 100% of the chicken at its 14,000 U.S. locations meeting this standard. But the company has yet to take action on beef or pork.
  • Subway improved the most, leaping from an “F” in 2015 to a “B” in 2016. Last fall, under pressure from the coalition and consumers, the chain committed to ending the use of antibiotics across its entire meat and poultry supply by 2025. Very few other chains—and none at this scale—have taken such a strong stance. Implementation of new policies for chicken began this year, but not turkey, pork or beef.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts was the only company to be downgraded to an “F” this year after weakening its publicly stated antibiotic policy.
  • The following chains also received an “F,” either for having no disclosed antibiotics use policy or for having policies that allow for the continued routine use of antibiotics in the production of the meat and poultry they serve: Applebee’s, Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, Chili’s, Dairy Queen, Denny’s, Domino’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, IHOP, Jack in the Box, KFC, Little Caesars, Olive Garden, Sonic and Starbucks.

Research for the Chain Reaction II report, including the survey of the top 25 U.S. restaurant chains, was compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Friends of the Earth, Consumers Union, and Center for Food Safety.

Fasta Pasta Maker

fast pasta dish

Developed by popular demand and due to the overwhelming success of the original Fasta Pasta Microwave Cooker, here comes the Fasta Pasta Family Size , which cooks approximately 8 servings of pasta at once!  You can expect the same great features as the Original Fasta Pasta – only bigger.  Deemed the Number 1 Microwave Pasta Cooker by America’s Test Kitchen Gadget Guru Lisa McManus, the Fasta Pasta has been featured on numerous national television programs, magazines, newspapers and digital media. From busy moms to college students to senior citizens, our customers love that Fasta Pasta cooks and drains your pasta in one container in minutes, but asked for a larger version to use for the whole family.  It was time to increase the Fasta experience!

Don’t be fooled by its no-fuss appearance, this microwave pasta cooker will not disappoint.  It is the perfect hassle-free way to cook pasta for large dinner parties or families on-the-go. With its patented reservoir design, the water circulates throughout, ensuring perfect pasta every time.

This made in the USA product is BPA-free and FDA-approved, and even includes a free cooking guide and recipes! Fasta Pasta Family Size cooks all types of pasta, vegetables, soups, casseroles and rice, without stickiness or starchiness from start-to-finish in minutes. Treat your guests to second and third helpings, with this upgraded pasta maker. The new dimensions (8.5W x 13L x 6H) can be used in standard size microwaves that measure 21 inches wide or larger. Accommodating as much pasta as you need, it’s guaranteed that no one will leave your house hungry this summer. Works great with all kinds of summer pasta salad, such as macaroni, rotini and more! This is sure to make your meal prep easier than ever.

Available for Purchase on Amazon, www.fastapasta.com , www.scsdirectinc.com  and at specialty retailers nationwide. Retail Price: $19.99

The best-selling Original Fasta Pasta can be purchased for $14.99 by visiting Amazon, www.fastapasta.com, www.scsdirectinc.com  and at specialty retailers nationwide.

HAVE A HEALTHY BACK-TO-SCHOOL

September means the beginning of fall, the changing of leaves – and yes, back to school. As schedules and calendars become more predictable and understandably more hectic, keeping meal prep easy is a staple of any smoothly-running home.

That’s where Limoneira comes in, because lemons and other citrus fruits can help. Check out Megan Roosevelt’s top tips for saving time in the kitchen here. Megan is a Registered Dietician, spokesperson for Limoneira Lemons for Life™ and the founder of Healthy Grocery Girl®.

“Citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges are great staples to keep in mind when meal planning because they’re versatile and full of nutrients,” says Megan in her latest video for Limoneira. Check out her time-saving back-to-school tips and tricks below.
limonera

  1. Citrus & Apple – Apples are a great snack. To prevent them from browning once sliced, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the slices.
  2. Citrus Snack Bars & Bites –  Store bought snack bars can be high in sugar, and low in fiber and other wholesome ingredients. Make your own snacks on the weekends for the week ahead.

No-Bake Cashew Lemon Cookie Bites
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • a pinch of sea salt

Pulse together until you create a batter. Roll into bites, and store in the fridge or freezer.

  1. Chocolate Dipped Oranges – We all love a little treat after lunch, and chocolate-dipped orange slices are not only full of great antioxidants, but are easy to make in advance and keep stored in the fridge or freezer over the weekend.
  2. Citrus Water – Lemon (or orange) water is a great way to make hydrating just a bit tastier. Keeping a jug of citrus water on hand in the fridge provides a yummy (and healthy) alternative to juices and sodas all week long.

Each month, Megan will be featuring another wonderful facet of lemon living. Subscribe to Limoneira’s Youtube channel for more information on the many ways this endlessly versatile fruit can improve life inside the home and beyond.

Snacks for Back To School

Packaged in travel-friendly canisters and single serving bags and offering options like no sugar added, gluten-free and Non-GMO, these nutritious and filling snacks that won’t melt or spoil are the perfect accompaniment to travel adventures or after school cravings.

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  • Mamee Stacked Crisps – a line of unbelievably delicious, gluten-free and GMO-free potato crisps stacked in canisters to create a perfect crunch every time, all while fitting snuggly in bags for boarding or hiking or nestled in vehicle cup-holders and seatback pockets. Flavors include:

o   Original, BBQ and Sour Cream & Onion

  • Good Health Snacks – offers a variety of kid-friendly travel snacks in single-serving bags that are Certified Organic, Certified Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher Certified as well as those made with Extra Goodness!™. Snack selections include:

o   Gluten Free Pretzels and Veggie Pretzels (launching mid-July)

o   Avocado Oil and Olive Oil Kettle Style Potato Chips

o   Sweet Potato Kettle Style Chips

o   Veggie Straws, Veggie Chips and Veggie Stix©

back to school

  • New Zealand Jerky – a line of premium Non-GMO Project Verified, free-range, grass-fed beef jerky made with only natural ingredients. Packaged in small, individual bags, NZJ’s protein-packed jerky is perfect for satisfying hunger on-the-go. Flavors include:

o   Original, Teriyaki, and Peppered

  • Bare Snacks – a line of snacks that are made from freshly picked whole fruit that’s simply baked, never fried, with nothing artificial and no preservatives. These snacks are made with real fruit and no added sugar, which will help keep the energy levels at an appropriate level on long car trips or flights. Selections include:

o   bare Apple Chips, bare Coconut Chips and bare Banana Chips

all natural snacks

  • Barbara’s Cheese Puffs – irresistible cheese puffs bursting with the flavors of real cheeses, such as aged cheddar, blue cheese and white cheddar, and combined with Non-GMO stone-ground corn. Barbara’s Cheese Puffs are cholesterol free, vegetarian, made with wheat-free ingredients, and now gluten free. Varieties include:

o   Original, Jalapeno, Baked Original and Baked White Cheddar

POWERLunchbox for Back to School

Let’s face it, packing a lunch box sure isn’t what it used to be.   Gone are the days of a daily sandwich and carrot sticks.  Today kids have much more diverse and sophisticated tastes, food allergies require special consideration, everyone is looking for better-tasting ways to get protein into snack bags and parents are, well, still trying to find creative ways to sneak in the fruits and veggies!  That’s right, kids are eating sushi out of bento boxes and even the classic peanut butter & jelly sandwich has gone nut-free.  So what’s a parent to do?  Below are a few great options for packing a lunchbox that kids of all ages will love, and that will make parents happy too!

no nut butter

Sneaky Chef® No-Nut Butter is an award-winning delicious nut-butter alternative made from naturally sweet and “nutty” tasting golden peas, but without a trace of peanuts, tree nuts, seeds, or soy.   That’s right, GOLDEN PEAS!  That means it’s made from pea protein – the high quality, plant-based protein source that is getting tons of nutrition buzz these days.  Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butters are produced in a nut-free facility and are all natural, gluten-free and contain no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils and no artificial colors or flavors. Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter is available in two varieties, Smooth and Chocolate – both available in 18 ounce jars and Smooth in these convenient grab-and-go cups.  Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter is an indulgent peanut butter alternative that is so good, everyone will love it, allergies or not!

Sneaky Chef if also thrilled to share that we’ve partnered with Annie’s Homegrown to develop Pea B&J Pockets made with golden pea butter! Like our Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter jars, Annie’s Pea B&J Pockets are available at Target Stores.  You’ll find them in the freezer aisle.

flavored popcorn

Inspired by flavors from around the world, Spiced & Infused marries the whole grain goodness of popcorn with real herbs and spices and other pure ingredients to create delicious flavors that take you on a culinary adventure.  The unique and delicious herbs and spices used in Spiced & Infused popcorn are known not only for their flavor, but also for their known health benefits, and provide delicious taste with less calories and fat than many other flavored popcorn options. Available in four delicious flavors – Bombay Seasoning, Chipotle Taco, Asian Barbecue, and French Herb, Spiced & Infused popcorn is a great snacking option for the whole family and is perfect for snacks, in lunchboxes, at parties or to take movie night to a whole new level.

no milk

Created from one of nature’s most universally-loved fruits, the banana, BANANA WAVE bananamilk is a delicious, creamy and nutrient-filled new option.   Derived from an ancient African recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation and first introduced to Fresh Start Beverage founder, Neter Alkebulan, by his own Grandmother,  BANANA WAVE bananamilk begins with a universally loved fruit that is a staple in most households – bananas.  In fact, because BANANA WAVE bananamilk begins with pure banana puree, one serving contains as much potassium as a small banana, 330 mg, and also contains 29 vitamins and minerals and 1200 mg of Omega-3s per serving.   BANANA WAVE bananamilk is vegan, all natural, dairy, gluten and GMO free.  BANANA WAVE bananamilk contains three of nature’s “superfoods” – fruit, grains and seeds – making it a nutritious option for anyone with an on-the-go lifestyle, active kids, athletes, and of course, banana lovers.  It is also an ideal option for vegans, vegetarians, those managing a dairy or nut allergy or for anyone looking for a nutritious alternative milk beverage.  Delicious and refreshing on its own as a snack or meal replacement, BANANA WAVE bananamilk is also perfect for smoothies, on cereal or for use in cooking and baking.

Celebrate National Watermelon Day with Applebee’s #Woodfired #WatermelonSmile

Disclosure- I received an Applebee’s gift card in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own and honest. For more info, see “I Disclose”.

August 3rd is national watermelon day, and to celebrate Applebee’s has introduced some new Summertime favorite menu items called Wood Fired Grill Salads.  This menu includes some delightful combinations of fresh vegetables and succulent shrimp, chicken, and of course watermelon.
Southwestern Steak Salad: Hand-Cut Wood Fired USDA Choice Top Sirloin Steak paired with chimichurri, pico de gallo, corn and black bean salsa, cheddar, crispy tortilla strips and a creamy house-made cilantro ranch dressing.

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They have a few new salads to try as well-

-Grilled Watermelon and Spicy Shrimp Salad: Mixed greens, cucumbers, feta, almonds and house-made creamy mint-Greek yogurt dressing. Also available with Spicy Blackened Chicken.

-Spicy Blackened Grilled Chicken, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad: Mixed greens, pickled in-house red onions, cilantro leaves and house-made champagne vinaigrette.

-Crispy Chicken ‘N Spicy Cornbread Salad: Mixed greens, made-in-house jalapeno cornbread croutons, grape tomatoes, shredded cheddar, applewood-smoked bacon and buttermilk dressing.

applesbees salad

We recently went to check out these new menu items and tried the Crispy Chicken ‘N Spicy Cornbread Salad.  Upon first glance, the spice component might make some turn away from this delicious salad, but the spice is more of a flavor then a burning mouth sensation.  The jalapeno cornbread croutons a perfect complement to the smoked bacon flavor and buttermilk dressing.  For those of you not big on salads, Applebee’s has a menu full of delicious items including burgers, sandwiches, pasta dishes, steaks, chicken and fish dishes.

There is also the new wood fired grill menu including your 6, 8 or 12 oz sirloin steak, pork chops, salmon, chicken breast or baby back ribs then you get to pick two sides and your meal is created just for you.  The little guy is a cheese head and loves the mac and cheese and mozzarella sticks kids meal while my husband usually gets something different each time we go, this time he chose the crispy brewhouse chicken with a stout based gravy, cheddar cheese, garlic mashed potatoes and crispy onions on top.

applebees

In addition to all these fun new summer dishes, Applebee’s is also celebrating national watermelon day with a contest!  To celebrate this new salad and fun occasion, from July 20 to August 3 Applebee’s is inviting guests to submit their favorite salad recipes via photo or text on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags #WoodFired and #Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $100 Applebee’s gift card.  See details and official rules at www.beesmeetup.com.

Why it’s Important to Get Your Kids to Eat Right

You need to make the right decisions now that your kids are in their formative years. It’s important to ensure that you influence them in the right way. And one of the ways to do this is to get them eating right as soon as you can.

Sets a Good Example

As the parent, it is important to set a good example to your children. They learn from you, and you don’t want them to pick up bad habits. Consider what your kids are going to learn and pick up at home. They will be influenced by things like bad language and the attitude you have toward things. But, they will also be influenced by eating habits. Junk food and unhealthy snacks set a bad example for the kids and could lead to them becoming unfit and obese. Healthy eating will promote a positive example, and they will naturally adopt more healthy eating habits.

Helps Them Work Towards Positive Body Image

You have to understand how important it is for your children to be comfortable with who they are. They need to develop a positive body image from a young age. This is going to help them with self-esteem and confidence. It will make them feel good about themselves and make good decisions when they become older. Developing a healthy body image is something that can be nurtured through positive eating habits. The healthier they are eating, the more likely they are to stay fit and healthy. This promotes the benefits and positivity of fitness. And they will take this into later life and develop a positive body image.

It’s Healthy for Them

The best thing about wasting right is that it’s good for you. It’s going to be great for your children, and their health, to get them eating the right things. You need to look at companies that are producing healthier food alternatives. For instance, you might decide to learn about Hampton Creek on Instagram. They are a company that produces eggless mayonnaise, among other things. These healthy alternatives are a great way to keep kids excited about the prospect of going healthy with their eating habits.

Leads to Other Positive Steps

The good think about healthy eating is that it encourages the kids to make other positive steps. They will understand the importance of looking after themselves, and this will lead on to other steps such as fitness and rest. You need to set these positive benchmarked for your children when they are developing. And you have to equip them with the necessary tools involved to take other positive steps at points in their life. That’s why you have to make sure you encourage healthy eating in the home as much as you possibly can.

As a parent, it is crucial to try to make sure your kids are following the advice you give them. It’s up to you to try to set good examples for them at a young age. These can help to shape their experiences and decisions they make as adults. So, you need to make sure you get them eating right as soon as you can.